The cost of offshore wind is being jacked up by Government-mandated ‘auction fees’ just as the Government negotiates with EDF about giving it massive handouts to fund Sizewell C. The Government has announced the award of leases to build 8 GW of offshore windfarms, but in doing so the Crown Estates (mainly the Government) will earn around £900 million a year from the fees that developers will pay the Government for the leases. This sum is broadly comparable with the annual sums are likely to pay out to EDF for developing Sizewell C. The Government’s latest leasing round for offshore wind sites has been panned by the trade association RenewableUK who said ‘too few sites were made available to meet……demand. Any auction run on that basis will inevitably lead to higher fees like this could ultimately mean higher costs for developers and consumers’. In fact three-quarters of the fees that developers will pay will go into Treasury funds (one quarter to the Crown); these funds will not offset the increase in prices for wind electricity that developers will charge when, in a few years time, they bid for contracts to supply electricity from the sites that have been leased. Indeed the costs of the auction fees will put up the capital costs of the offshore windfarms by at least 13 per cent (using RenewableUK figures).
100% Renewables UK 9th Feb 2021 read more »
‘Green jobs boost’ for Highlands after Global Energy Group bags major offshore wind contract. The Port of Nigg has been served a “green jobs boost” after it bagged a contract for work on what will be Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm.
Energy Voice 10th Feb 2021 read more »
Herald 10th Feb 2021 read more »
Times 10th Feb 2021 read more »
These are invigorating times for post-Brexit Britain’s efforts to secure a greener future by harvesting the winds around our coasts. On Monday the Crown Estate, which controls the seabed around England and Wales, announced the winners in its first offshore wind power licensing round in a decade. In March Crown Estate Scotland will announce the winners of its equivalent ScotWind auction. And today SSE Renewables, the privatised core of the old state-owned Scottish Hydro, has revealed a supply chain contract for the Seagreen 1.1-gigawatt array already under construction off the Angus coast. After his Holyrood clobbering last week over the Ferguson ferries debacle, Paul Wheelhouse, the Scottish government minister, wants us all to know what a “boost” that Seagreen contract is to his government’s “ambitious and world-leading plans” to orchestrate Scotland’s green recovery. Yet the contract, awarded to Global Energy Group at its Port of Nigg base, is only to run the marshalling and logistics for Seagreen’s 114 turbines and their foundation jackets, all of which are being fabricated elsewhere. The jackets are being built in the United Arab Emirates. The turbines, from Vestas, the Danish multinational, are being supplied via its Isle of Wight facility. GEG’s marshalling role at Nigg translates into only 48 new jobs on the Cromarty Firth.
Times 10th Feb 2021 read more »
The world’s biggest oil companies are no stranger to UK waters, but by the end of the decade they will be running more offshore wind turbines than oil rigs. BP has already made a splash with a record-breaking bid to build two giant windfarms in the Irish Sea. The company beat established renewable energy players by offering to pay the Crown Estate £900m a year to develop the sites, more than 15 times the price paid for similar deals in the past. Bernard Looney, the chief executive of BP, said the winning bid, announced earlier this week, marked the company’s entry into one of the world’s best offshore wind markets. “This is both important progress towards BP’s transformation into an integrated energy company as well as a significant next step in our long history in the UK,” Looney added. It has also marked a new battleground between oil companies and the traditional energy utilities they hope to emulate and usurp. BP’s big windfarm bet has drawn criticism from renewable energy developers which placed bids more in line with the results of previous seabed auctions – and lost. They claim that the price to be paid by BP is too steep, and the returns on investment will be too low.
Guardian 10th Feb 2021 read more »